In a few days, thousands upon thousands of students living in the immediate area of Fowler and Fletcher avenues will together rise from the clutter of their dorms and apartments.
They will take their books and notes and throw them on one of six pyres strategically assembled around campus, ambivalent to the three tests their professors have annoyingly scheduled for the day after they return to school.
They will then enter their respective autos, closing their doors, simultaneously creating a sound vaguely like what you would hear coming from the Sun Dome if people actually went to a basketball game.
They will then file out of the many varied designated campus exits like happy little hamsters that have made their way out of a scientist’s maze.
I speak, of course, of what will happen on Friday, when USF goes on spring break (sans the pyres). Students will spend a week of happy debauchery and hazy memories before returning to cram for midterm exams Sunday night.
Spring break is like eating two dozen soft tacos smothered in Tabasco sauce without taking a Pepcid AC beforehand. It’s not something you would ever do normally, and you know you’re going to pay for it later, but it’s too good to not try at least once a year.
So students will converge on places like Panama City, Ft. Lauderdale and Cozumel. Hotel owners in these cities will squeal like pigs, ready and willing to gouge them so bad that the room at the Motel 6 costs as much as a stay at the Plaza Hotel.
But the students will pay them back. Stains of unknown origin will pepper the floor, walls and mattresses. The smell of beer and one particular psychotropic substance will linger for months. One student in a top floor room will look down at the pool and spontaneously decide, “I bet I can hit that.”
He will aim for one of the three pools he sees, hope to God it’s the real pool and jump. Like lemmings, more will follow immediately behind him, suddenly realizing what a great idea they didn’t have.
While splashing around in the pool, all inhibitions will be lost, and some kid no one knows will point in the water and shout, “Dude, look! It’s, like, a little submarine … killer!”
On any given night, you will find people doing things that they would never do back in Tampa. Look at the people who go to tattoo parlors and get a permanent testament to their odyssey branded on them somewhere. They’ll put Chinese words on their lower back or shoulder. When you ask them what it means, they’ll say blankly, “I dunno. It’s pretty.”
I wonder if Chinese students on spring break get English words tattooed on them.
For a week, USF students will (or at least will darn well try) to forget about majors and classes and essays and finding a parking spot. They will instead relish in cutting loose, going out at nine o’clock Tuesday evening, waking up Wednesday afternoon and say, “Ooh, my head … Where am I … Who are you?”
Sure, maybe my examples are a bit exaggerated. Or, maybe they’re not. All I know is, there is no more delectable sin, no indulgence so sweet as spring break.
I am going to be spending spring break at home, reading a book and just hanging out.
Please, somebody, take me with you!
- Joe Roma is a sophomore majoring in political science.Rahner13@hotmail.com